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raceAhead: Uber and Lyft Ban a Far-Right Troll, How Online Abuse Encouraged Russia, Black Lives Matter Wins a Prize

November 3, 2017, 5:48 PM UTC

Your week in review, in haiku



Your friend has the same

name as a Trump official?

Untag yourself now.



Not so Civil War:

A general look at both

sides of Bobby Lee



Prey yesterday, pay

today, repent tomorrow.

It’s a House of Cards



Colin Kaepernick’s

LinkedIn: Tan, rested, ready,

woke. Pizza killer?



All love to Houston!

Except for Yuli. Kick him

out on his Astro.


Have a winning weekend.

On Point

Uber and Lyft ban an activist who complained about Muslim Uber driversLaura Loomer, a far-right activist and busy Twitter chatterer, was banned from both platforms after publicly complaining about Muslims following Tuesday's attack in which a former Uber driver, who was Muslim, killed eight people and injured 12 in New York City. "I'm late to the NYPD press conference because I couldn't find a non-Muslim cab or @Uber @lyft driver for over 30 min! This is insanity," she tweeted. Uber said in an email to Business Insider that the remarks violated the platform’s community guidelines and deleted her account.Business Insider

Do you wear clothes from Zara?
If you do, check the label. You might find a bold message from the person who stitched your fashion-forward blouse, reports the Associated Press. “I made this item you are going to buy, but I didn’t get paid for it.” Workers from Bravo, the manufacturer that supplies Zara, claim the company owes them three months pay. And now that the company appears to have been shuttered, severance as well. Click through for the fashion disaster.

The failure of online platforms to curb abuse allowed the rise of Russian trolls
Journalist and researcher Sarah Kendzior says that the rise of Russian trolls and bots aiming to sow chaos should have surprised no one. “In reality, scholars, activists, and regular social media users had warned that platforms seemed to be becoming weaponized for political purposes in a way that felt new and dangerous,” she says. Experts now say that 2014 was a pivotal “dry run” year on social media, as women experienced increasingly alarming misogynist attacks under the Gamergate banner, and black women noticed – and outed - fake accounts posing as combative black users. While online abuse is not the sole purview of Russia, “had Twitter and other networks acted quicker to curb abuse and impersonation in general, any outside manipulation that did occur might have been less effective.”
NBC News

Black Lives Matter movement awarded the Sydney Peace Prize
The Sydney Peace Prize was awarded to the organization yesterday, “for building a powerful movement for racial equality, courageously reigniting a global conversation around state violence and racism.” It was the first time the award had been given to a group instead of an individual. Past winners include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Arundhati Roy, and Muhammed Yunus. Movement leaders Patrisse Cullors, Rodney Diverlus, and Dawn Modkins were on hand to accept. "It allows us the opportunity to uplift the struggles of our Black siblings around the globe," movement founder Opal Tometi told NBC news via email.
NBC News

The Woke Leader

The Silicon Valley reboot of the school system is...pivoting
AltSchool, a startup launched by former Google engineer Max Ventilla five years ago, is changing direction, as losses pile up for the for-profit company. Backed by Mark Zuckerberg and other Valley notables, the $175 million venture built at least nine grade schools in California and New York, boasting a $30,000 annual tuition and cutting edge-tech, like ceiling-mounted video cameras, computers, apps, robots and 3D printers. But with an annual burn rate of $40 million, Ventilla recently announced at least one school closure and a new business model—selling technology to other schools.

A college class in a women’s prison helped spark a unique post-incarceration re-entry program
Vanessa Thompson was a long-time inmate in Indiana Women’s Prison. The once-troubled woman found purpose and redemption by way of an upper-level public policy class that gave her the skills to lobby for reforms to legislation on issues that touch the lives of vulnerable women—drug addiction, domestic violence, and sexual assault chiefly among them. But when a local politician promised to address the scourge of abandoned homes due to the mortgage crisis, she had an idea. What if people re-entering society could help renovate the homes, and then live in them? “It’s a double restoration — not just of the house but of the person,” Thompson told The Marshall Project. The entire class got to work, holding video meetings with experts from Habitat for Humanity and Yale Law School. They even lobbied lawmakers directly. And that’s when things got interesting.
The Marshall Project

He’s bringing civics back. So all the citizens will know how to act
Educator Eric Lieu says that Americans are illiterate in power—what it is, how it works and why some people have it and others don’t. His idea? Make civics “sexy,” meaning compelling as a personal concept, like it was during the Civil Rights Movement. This TED talk was filmed in the aftermath of Occupy Wall Street (but before the Movement for Black Lives) but he hits all the right notes for what can happen when we use fresh thinking to inspire all people to participate in shaping society.


About 10 to 15% of the Negro Leagues were Latino players who actually were willing to venture out of the Latin American circuits. They were presented to the public as, 'He’s not black; he’s Cuban.' 'He’s not black; he’s Puerto Rican,' Latinos who made it into the major leagues are not welcomed as fellow whites. They are welcomed as not black.
—Adrian Burgos, Jr.